Heimlicher to seek third council term

       District 3 City Council member Jerry Heimlicher has announced he will seek another four-year term in the city election next April.
       District 3 covers the southwest part of the city, including Old Colorado City and the older Westside, as well as the downtown area, Broad-moor and Skyway.
       Heimlicher was elected to a two-year council term in the 2003 election and a four-year span in 2005, when he ran unopposed. Term limits would make his re-election in 2009 his last term.
       Heimlicher has been visible on the Westside as a council member, including helping the Old Colorado City merchants and maintenance district with such issues as crafter competition in Bancroft Park and historic street lights in Old Town; and supporting the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) in its efforts for a historic overlay zone.
       “One of the things I am most proud of,” he said, is a change in Springs Utilities policy to protect property owners who have been timely in roto-rooting their sewer lines. He advocated the change after simultaneous backups at several homes in the 2100 block of West Bijou Street in 2004.
       On current issues key to Westsiders, he pinpointed the planning process for the Highway 24 expansion between I-25 and Manitou Springs and panhandling/ homelessness issues.
       Regarding Highway 24, he said he will “insist on a plan that will maximize traffic flow with minimal disruption to citizens and businesses.”
       Heimlicher hopes to reduce prevalent street-begging by convincing people to redirect their handouts ($1.5 million a year) to alternative programs, and to reduce homelessness through “specific programs to help the homeless return to society.”
       Citywide, he is proposing a concept by which specialized sales taxes (such as for public safety, open space and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority) might be replaced by an increase in property taxes. The idea is that the sales tax goes up and down too much, which is unacceptable for a city government that has consistent needs in vital service areas such as police and fire safety, he said.
       Other goals for another term include::
  • Installing the Southern Delivery System “to provide the essential long-term source of water for our city.”
  • Upgrading South Nevada Avenue “by first dealing with crime and decay.”
           In a prepared statement, Heimlicher pledged to “continue to regularly attend community, neighborhood and business meetings; to be easily accessible by phone, mail, fax, e-mail and in person; and to be accountable to all citizens, not just a few.”
           He continued, “I want to use my final term in office to accomplish these specific goals, to be completely accountable to the people, and I want to look in the mirror at the end of my time in office and be able to say that I always put the good of the community as my number one goal in all that I did while in office.”

    Westside Pioneer article